2010 through the eyes of a blog

monkey-thinkingIt is December 31 and I just wondered "what exactly has happened this year?" So through the eyes of this blog, let's have a look. We'll start with January and the tail end of our South America trip, along with the workshopping and recording of my music in Brazil.

January 4th Leg Four – Argentina to Paraguay to Brazil January 11th Leg Five – Rio de Janeiro to Paraty to Auckland January 12th A day with Sphaera

After spending too many hours hunting down good repertoire for my school orchestras, in February I explored the efforts of conducting. I also set up my newsletter with MailChimp.

February 20th Conducting – 90% perspiration, 10% exhilaration February 26th Automating the monthly issue

It was a plentiful month of posts in March, many on great discoveries I recently made but also highlighted a new piece, Picture for Emily, for my niece.

March 14th Sibelius First – if you’re so inclined March 15th Moana Ataahua programme launched March 16th Picture for Emily – aiming for the small market March 16th Scoring Avatar March 18th My indispensables March 19th If Lake Taupo was a piece of music, what would it sound like?

In April it was all about preparing Moana Ataahua for its massive premiere at the ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival.

April 24th Moana Ataahua set to ERUPT in May (article from SOUNZ) April 28th Moana Ataahua, the rehearsals begin

I explored digital music stands in May, how they compare and how I wanted one. Do I still want one now? That is another post!

May 15th Digital music stands, hook me up – Music Pad, Music Reader, eStand

I summed up the Moana Ataahua premiere in June and did a very popular post on music apps for your iOS devices.

June 1st Moana Ataahua, the premiere June 2nd iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional

It was great to see plenty of music getting performed through July.

July 12th Wild Daisies premiere July 18th Breathe In, Breathe Out – a concert of overtures and finales July 27th SoundCloud, move your music July 29th Three pieces performed by Brazil’s Sphaera Ensemble

The Auckland schools orchestra festival happened in August, so did some pondering on music theory.

August 27th Sounds great! I want it, I want it now August 30th KBB Music Festival 2010, thumbs up August 31st Music theory, do we need it or not?

Spent a fantastic few days in Wellington in September recording Rakaia with the NZSO. Also, Rhian Sheehan's amazing score for The Cult, which I helped out with, won best score!

September 9th More iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional September 20th The Cult wins at Qantas Film and Television Awards September 23rd NZSO/SOUNZ Readings 2010

In November I did a three part post looking at music printing, engravers, copyists and how things are changing. I also hooked up Sibelius users with some great resources!

November 29th So, you’re a Sibelius user? November 30th Music printing, a journey for engravers (part 1 of 3) November 30th Music copying and confusion (part 2 of 3) November 30th Changing times for music preparers (part 3 of 3)

As you would expect, I got festive in December but also looked at a new feature for sounz.org.nz.

December 7th A Christmas wish list for composer-musicians December 24th SOUNZ moves forward, again December 24th Merry Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year

Happy New Year everyone!!

Breathe In, Breathe Out - a concert of overtures and finales

The Auckland Wind Orchestra and conductor Ryan Youens are proud to present Breathe In, Breathe Out - a concert of overtures and finales - an exciting mix of all your favourites.

Bernstein - Candide Overture Giavannini - Overture in Bb Strauss - Gypsy Baron Overture Rossini - William Tell Overture Tchaikovsky - Finale from Symphony No.2 Mendelssohn - Finale from 3rd “Scottish” Symphony Kalinnikov - Finale from Symphony No.1 Stravinsky - Berceuse and Finale from Firebird Suite

Sunday August 1st, 2:00pm - 3:30pm Holy Trinity Church 20 Church Street, Devonport North Shore, New Zealand

Tickets: adults $15, concessions $10, door sales only

The Auckland Wind Orchestra aims to be New Zealand's finest community wind ensemble. We regularly stage concerts in the Auckland region, performing a broad range of musical styles to a wide audience. Our players come from all walks of life, united by the desire to have fun while making great music.

www.ryanyouens.com www.awo.co.nz

The winds recede

Sunday's concert, "North Winds, South Winds", was a success. Thanks very much to all those who came and supported - it was a very impressive, receptive and appreciative audience. It was a challenge putting on such a demanding programme, but the orchestra definitely rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job. It is horrifying to realise that the time signature changes totaled around 160, and the tempo changes also added up to something drastic. Looking back, I thought it was a shame that we didn't get to run the pieces more during the rehearsal period and hear them in their entirety, as some certainly aren't done justice until done so. But I guess, we always have the best intentions.

North Winds, South Winds 2

It was very refreshing seeing so much New Zealand music being performed, AND with five of the eight composers being present. It was great having the older works which have been widely performed, alongside two premieres, and other works by younger composers. I had a few comments saying that NZ music is in very safe hands ... which it is ... of course. Judging from feedback, it seems the audience had a great time. I think they really enjoyed the balance in the programme, the top standard and of course the intros (thanks Harold).

It was a joy working with the wind orchestra. They have a wonderful committee which seem to take care of absolutely everything. The standard is excellent and I hope that I can work with them again sometime in the future.

North Winds, South Winds 1

My piece, Guardians of the North, went well. I placed it at the end of the programme, which could have been trouble after the workload before it, but it sounded great. I had made several revisions since its premiere in 2007, including a new ending, which I was very happy about. It now seems to sit more comfortably with the players, which is definitely a good thing.

The "North Winds, South Winds" have definitely receded, but what a breath of fresh air! Another concert down, more New Zealand music is in the mix - that makes me happy.

"North Winds, South Winds"

A concert of New Zealand wind music by the Auckland Wind Orchestra, conducted by Ryan Youens. Don't miss this wonderful event featuring selections from New Zealand's finest wind music.

Auckland Wind Orchestra

  • Aue! - Christopher Marshall
  • The Ballad of Settler McGee - Philip Norman
  • Earthbound Wings - Yvette Audain
  • Far Star - Matthew Crawford
  • Forest Sketches - David Woodcock
  • Guardians of the North - Ryan Youens

Including two premieres:

  • The Pensieve - Zyia-Li Teh
  • Rotorua - Phillip Anderson

3pm, Sunday 18th October

Aotea Chapel, Auckland Methodist Mission, 370 Queen Street, Auckland (opposite Town Hall)

$15 waged, $10 unwaged (door sales only)


Reconstructing the constructed

Over the last week I have been revisiting an old work of mine, re-orchestrating, re-arranging and re-discovering. What a blast. I have never done it before, well not to this degree where I have completely left it for several years. In some ways it is rather strange, to revisit what I was thinking - the way I orchestrated seems rather odd, but back then I thought it was marvelous. I have:

  • Taken out some chunks, added a few bars and written a new ending.
  • Removed some of the percussion instruments and have incorporated that material into other instruments.
  • Stripped some passages right back and have re-grown with some new material.
  • Overall I have refined the orchestrations, which I was never truly happy with, and have made it a much sturdier piece.

I generally like to leave a piece once it's done, and give my energy to a new project. But, since I was given the opportunity, I have greatly enjoyed the process and have learnt truckloads. The piece is definitely still the piece it always was, but now it has a little extra spice, character and finesse.

The piece is Guardians of the North, which was written for, and premiered by the Opononi Music Summer School in 2007 with help from Creative New Zealand funding. This thoroughly revised version will be performed by the Auckland Wind Orchestra on the 18th October, 2009 at Aotea Chapel on Queen St in Auckland.

A concert of New Zealand wind music

I will be conducting a concert of New Zealand wind music with the Auckland Wind Orchestra on 18th October 2009. This will be a wonderful event as we present some of the finest New Zealand works for wind orchestra. The programme will include music by Yvette Audain, Matthew Crawford, David Woodcock, Philip Norman, Christopher Marshall and myself. Further details will follow.

To conduct the Auckland Wind Orchestra

Following my first conducting engagement with the Auckland Wind Orchestra earlier this month, I have been asked to conduct another concert of theirs on Sunday 18th October. More details to follow. I will also be conducting them at the Robin Holst Memorial Concert this Saturday. 2pm Saturday June 27, 2009. Auckland Normal Intermediate Hall. Poronui Street, Mt Eden. Other groups involved include: Auckland Youth Symphonic Band, Auckland Normal Intermediate Choir, Auckland Boys’ Choir, Auckland Wind Orchestra, A Massed Band of Past and Present Players.